Multiple Sclerosis (MS) therapy market, states a new report by GlobalData.
The new report* shows that several market-leading disease-modifying therapies (DMT) are due to suffer patent expiries over the coming years, exposing therapy sales to significant brand erosion. Governments undergoing financial austerity measures are also likely to demand more cost-effective treatments, resulting in reimbursement challenges for new DMTs trying to gain market penetration, and the increased promotion of generic and biosimilar drug use. Therefore, the established players may well struggle to maintain their leads in the MS market following patent expiries to their key branded products, which will adversely impact on the future growth of the MS market.
The MS market has historically been dominated by four players: Bayer HealthCare, Biogen Idec, Teva, and Merck Serono. These companies have been the leading competitors globally since the 1990s, with the successful launch of Bayer’s Betaseron/Betaferon (interferon beta-1b) followed soon after by Biogen’s Avonex (interferon beta-1a), Teva’s Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) and Merck’s Rebif (interferon beta-1a). These established first-line DMTs have shaped the treatment paradigm and now generate the majority of global sales. However, the MS market has become increasingly competitive with the emergence of oral therapies, several pipeline products with notable efficacies, and looming biosimilars following the patent expiries of key branded products. Therefore, these top four companies are facing major challenges in maintaining their position in the MS marketplace, especially with the entry of new challengers onto the competitive landscape.
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In an attempt to gain market share, companies are seeking to expand the coverage of their existing products to enhance the treated patient population, and are targeting alternative disease subtypes where competition is less fierce. Biogen is investigating Tysabri (natalizumab)
Partnerships also allow companies to broaden pipeline portfolios and build experience in target markets. The recent collaborative agreement between Merck and Opexa Therapeutics for the development and commercialization of Tcelna (imilecleucel-
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